FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 11, 2020
Mike Friedberg Mike.Friedberg@hklaw.com
(Washington, D.C.) – On November 10, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriation bill. As a result of the continued advocacy of the Coalition for the Northeast Corridor (CNEC), the bill includes language expanding project eligibility for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair (SOGR) Program to include planning, engineering, environmental, construction, and design elements.
“While the intent of the SOGR Program was to fund critical enhancements to intercity passenger rail projects, administrative interpretations have limited the use of the SOGR Program to projects that are already under construction. As a result, many essential capital projects along the Northeast Corridor (NEC) have been left unfunded and ignored,” said Michael Friedberg, Executive Director of CNEC. “By including language that explicitly clarifies the original legislative intent of the SOGR Program, projects that support the preliminary and final design, environmental and related clearances, including all work necessary to approve the project under the project under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and related statutes and regulations can now be funded.”
“We thank the Senate Appropriations Committee for their leadership and hard work on improving the SOGR Program for all intercity passenger rail projects, especially those along the NEC,” added Friedberg.
FY 21 THUD Language: For necessary expenses related to Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Grants as authorized by section 24911 of title 49, United States Code, $225,000,000, to remain available until expended: Provided, That the Secretary shall not limit eligible projects from consideration for funding for planning, engineering, environmental, construction, and design elements of the same project in the same application: Provided further, That the Secretary may withhold up to 1 percent of the amount provided under this heading for the costs of award and project management oversight of grants carried out under section 24911 of title 49, United States Code.
The Coalition for the Northeast Corridor (CNEC) is the business community’s voice for strengthening rail infrastructure in order to reduce congestion, create jobs and grow the economy. We represent diverse stakeholders who rely on the Corridor to conduct commerce, access customers, and transport employees.